Halloween Mystery - a Strange Experience

By: Dominique Halet

Brussels, October 31st. Halloween Eve.

It is 7 PM, it is dark, the weather is cold and there are Very few persons in the streets.

I check my dictaphone: it works.

I am walking along the Conscience avenue looking for someone to interview on the Halloween evening.

Children wearing skeleton, witch, wizard, wolves... costumes walk up the street. They bear little bags which will be soon filled with candies and other sweets.

They stop in front of a strange house. Its frontage is made from dark red bricks. It's number is white chalked: 666.

I silently go near the children: I do not want to spoil the moment they have been waiting for one year. I am watching them, invisible in the darkness.

They discuss a moment. Unfortunately, I do not hear what they are saying. Suddenly, the group turns on to one of them.

I understand that they were in the process of choosing the one who would ring the doorbell. The child selected by the other seems to be frightened but he puts his finger on the button of the doorbell.

The doorbell cries its sorrowful sound. Inside the house, someone turns on the light, enlightening the darkness. The door opens and a black shadow approaches. One second later, I notice that it is a woman.

I hear the child's shaky voice: Tricks or treats!

The woman wears a long black dress, she has black eyes highlighted by grey shadow, her head wears a sapphire wig and her fingernails seem to be painted by the night itself. She tells something that I do not hear while she distributes candies, fruits and sweets to the children.

The group thanks her and goes away.

I rush to the door. I introduce myself and shake her hand. I ask her if she would agree to have an interview. She does not answer but invites me to enter her home.

I look at the decoration: in the living room, the walls are made from bricks and stones; a warm fire is burning in the fireplace. There are several candles featuring black and white ghosts, pumpkins, witches and other Halloween items placed on each table and on the supper-table is the biggest Jack O'Lantern I've ever seen. Some torches enlighten the garden.

Beyond this theatrical decoration, there is a sweet home with clear pine furniture and dark blue seats, covered with light beige plaids.

A young boy covered by a white blanket is lying on the sofa. He is watching an episode of "The Simpsons Halloween Special".

The woman and I are talking together since one hour now. It is a very strange person. I get up and thank her for her patience.

I enter my car, I am tired. I rewind the tape and listen to the voices:

ME: Why do you wear this kind of costume?

The woman: This is not a costume. I reflect the dark half which lies in every human.

ME: Do you mean that there is an evil part in all of us?

The woman: Have you ever seen people running around kids who are having fun? Obviously not! But people rush and beat to watch the victims of a car crash.

They run to watch horror movies, which have a huge success. The newspapers like "Detective" are read by people claiming to be disgusted and shocked but who read them from the first page to the last one. It is the dark half of the human race.

ME: Is your costume a way to show your neighbours the dark of their soul?

The woman: I am not in disguise. This is not a Halloween costume; I wear these clothes each day. You did not understand what I said. You did not understand who I am nor what I am. Let me explain. Look at me.

I did it.

I looked down into her eyes and I saw the truth.

The very thought of it gives me the shivers.

I push on the button to stop the tape. I would like to erase from my memory who she is and what she is.

Halloween will never have the same meaning for me.

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